T-Mobile today took to the stage to present the next portion of the company's "uncarrier" PR campaign, which includes a new handset upgrade program that will allow users to upgrade their phones up to twice a year. You'll recall that T-Mobile killed off phone subsidies earlier this year
during the first half or their strategy unveil, letting users pay off phones via an initial down payment and a monthly fee. Now the company has unveiled a new phone upgrade program called "JUMP" (just upgrade my phone).
Under Jump, users pay a $10 monthly fee, which allows them to trade in their existing phone for a new device at new customer prices (up to twice a year) -- without having to pay off the remaining payments on their existing device. That $10 includes protection from accidental damage and theft, something that T-Mobile has charged $8 to $12 for.
"At some point, big wireless companies made a decision for you that you should have to wait two years to get a new phone for a fair price. That’s 730 days of waiting. 730 days of watching new phones come out that you can’t have. Or having to live with a cracked screen or an outdated camera," said T-Mobile CEO John Legere in a statement
. "We say two years is just too long to wait."
It's not a game changing idea by any measure, but the gadget obsessed, well paid and/or comically indecisive might glean something from it.
The company today also stated that their LTE network now reaches some 157 million potential customers across the United States, well ahead of the mid-year target of around 100 million customers set by the company. The company hopes to reach 200 million potential customers by the end of the year, though it sounds that they're likely to exceed that goal as well.
In addition to JUMP and their LTE progress news, T-Mobile also stated that they'll be offering a new family plan for those with crap credit starting July 15. Their new Simple Choice Plan offers unlimited talk, text and Web and up to 500MB of high-speed data for $100 per month. The company also added the Sony Xperia Z, Nokia Lumia 925, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 to their LTE device lineup.
While T-Mobile CEO John Legerre insisted at today's event that the company's uncarrier strategy is helping improve market share, he didn't offer a shred of hard evidence of this -- leaving us until T-Mobile's August earnings report to see if the new strategy is really working.